Mulleys to reinstate all bus routes from Monday
An Ixworth-based bus operator has taken steps to ensure passengers feel confident getting back on board when it reinstates services from June 15.
Mulleys, in Stow Road, was forced to suspend services following the Government’s advice to avoid public transport in March.
Ever since, with many of its staff placed on furlough, the team still working has been busy behind the scenes sourcing and ordering new equipment ready for passengers to return.
They have also undertaken the mammoth operation of refunding all customers who had booked on to its excursions and theatre trips.
The entire excursion calendar for 2020 – apart from Thursford and a few theatre trips – has already been cancelled.
The firm has operated its sponsored bus services throughout the crisis, but is now looking forward to becoming fully operational again.
Its drivers are now protected by perspex screens and PPE, vehicles undergo regular cleaning and sanitising throughout the day, while the company has purchased dry fogging machines for daily disinfection as an extra measure.
The company needed plastic screens for 20 of its buses, but decided to install them in 26 to ensure there are no driver changeovers during the day for their protection. Meanwhile, it has established a deep cleaning crew, with vehicles disinfected throughout the day.
Jayne Munson, director, said Mulleys had no choice to pull most of its routes at the start of the crisis as it could not continue operating services with no passengers on board.
“The Government advice had a significant impact and our vehicles were driving around with few passengers. We had no option but to stop our non-sponsored routes, but we will reinstate these from June 15,” said Jayne.
“In addition to sanitising throughout the day we have also bought dry fog machines, like those used in airports. All of our drivers have PPE and there are now screens around the driver.
“We want our passengers to feel safe so we are going to ask everybody to wear a mask when we reinstate services to protect others while they are on the bus.”
She said it had been an uncertain time but Government support for bus operators was now ‘gradually coming through’.
“However we don’t know what we are going to get funding for,” said Jayne.
“We feel we (bus operators) were the forgotten transport sector in this at the start, but it does seem we are going to get some help, even if just to cover the costs of the additional things we have had to put in place. But is there going to be any funding for loss of revenue?”
The company is bringing its furloughed staff back once it is fully operational again.
“We have no issues getting back up and running but we do need passengers to come back,” added Jayne.
More by this authorCamille Berriman
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